Purpose of the full phase of assessment
The purpose of our assessment in the full assessment phase is to develop an in-depth understanding of:
- the full range of needs of te tamaiti (including long-term physical and psychological safety)
- family/whānau capacity and capability, and how they might be supported to meet those identified needs
- the potential of te tamaiti and what is needed for that potential to be reached.
This information informs the family/whānau at the family group conference and supports quality planning for te tamaiti.
How to undertake the full assessment phase
1 Deepen understanding
This phase of assessment builds on the understanding obtained in the core assessment phase and deepens our shared understanding of te tamaiti and their family/whānau. In the full assessment phase, we:
- continue to build our engagement with te tamaiti to get a deeper understanding of their needs and strengths and incorporate these into the assessment – pay attention to the culture and identity and belonging domains of Tuituia to build a picture of the connection te tamaiti has to their culture, whakapapa and whanaungatanga networks
- continue to engage with family/whānau and use hui ā-whānau or family meetings to exchange information, seek family/whānau solutions, and inform and support the assessment and planning
- engage kairaranga ā-whānau or specialist Māori advice to support continued engagement with tamariki and whānau Māori, using tikanga practices to deepen awareness and connection to the resources that sit within the whānau, hapū and iwi to provide support for te tamaiti – extending whānau searching to whakapapa research will support tamariki and whānau decision-making, and provide tamariki with access to important cultural connections to enhance their sense of belonging, wellbeing and identity
- seek the support of a Pacific cultural advisor to provide guidance for how to establish family connections for Pacific children
- work collaboratively with core professionals, and seek advice from relevant ethnic community and/or spiritual leaders, bringing them together to share information and professional views
- include specialist assessment information to inform our analysis, including gateway assessments (where the family group conference is convened for care or protection concerns) and any specialist assessment specific to identified needs for te tamaiti.
The Tuituia framework helps us structure the assessment and gain a complete understanding of the needs of te tamaiti. The Tuituia recording tool and report helps us capture a comprehensive picture of the needs and strengths of te tamaiti and their family/whānau.
2 Remain alert to changes in safety for te tamaiti
A safety plan will be in place to support the family/whānau to safely care for te tamaiti until a family group conference plan is developed.
Ensure the safety plan is reviewed on a regular basis with all the people involved in the plan, including te tamaiti, family/whānau and professionals. These reviews are an integral part of the assessment as they allow us and the family/whānau to assess the safety and changing needs of te tamaiti, and the ability and willingness of family/whānau members to work with an agreed plan.
Review with the family/whanau how the plan is going, whether there are any changes that impact on the safety and wellbeing of te tamaiti and how the plan may need to be modified. Remain alert to changes in safety for te tamaiti, and work with the family/whānau to address any issues.
3 Share the assessment
Assessment is collaborative so it is important that we build the assessment with the family/whānau and share it with involved professionals as our analysis is taking shape. Listen to their views and seek to develop a shared understanding of needs, strengths and opportunities for te tamaiti and family/whānau.
Share the content of a full written assessment with te tamaiti, family/whānau and involved professionals. Seek and note their views as part of the assessment analysis.
Remember: the purpose of this phase of assessment is to support us and the family/whānau to understand the full range of needs of te tamaiti, the ability of the family/whānau to meet those needs, and other sources of support that may be needed. This ensures the family/whānau have the best opportunity to develop good plans that achieve enduring safety and promote wellbeing for te tamaiti and their family/whānau.